Basic Human Right workshop for Church leaders
On the 1st of October 2022, Africa Unite hosted a workshop for 12 Pastors and leaders from different church organizations. The workshop was organized to capacitate church leaders on the basic Human Rights for Immigrant so that they can give advice correctly to their congregation members when they need assistance on Immigrant laws. On the same day, Africa Unite Invited an Attorney who has experience in the legal work of Immigrant as well as the home affairs system. All this was coordinated by the Africa Unite 3 Africa unite staff members.
Pastors and church leaders were capacitated in the basic Human Rights of Immigrant. This section looked at the different types of Immigrants in South Africa (Asylum seekers, Refugees, emigrant, and immigrant) and all their rights. As well as learning what is Human Rights in the languages spoken by the different church leaders, this exercise demonstrated that Human Right is everywhere and in every language. On the same day, church leaders had the opportunity to ask Questions concerning documentation or any issues that required legal aid assistance (Advice) or how to go about applying for documentation.
Below are some questions that were raised from the session on Saturday’s workshop:
- What do you do when a child is born here but both Parents are illegal (have no valid documentation)?
- What do you do when a child is born of a South African Mother and a foreign father (vice versa)?
- Various legal issues related to ZEP’s (Zimbabwean Exemption Permits) were also discussed. What to do when the permits expire in June? And what are the other options for Zimbabwean nationals?
At the end of the workshop, church leaders had a greater understanding of South African immigration law and human rights in general. Strengthening of the relationship between AU and the Christian community in Cape Town and building networks and unity within the different immigrant churches.
Lastly, participants had a positive view of the workshop. They enjoyed learning the rights of Immigrant (they realized that it is easy to say you know what Human Rights are but not understand). They also appreciated the question and answer session facilitated by the attorney. The session was crucial and the facilitator was practical when answering the question by giving everyday cases and solutions in simple English. Thus, the workshop has strengthened the relationship between the pastors, the different church organizations, and the relationship with AU.
CHALLENGES/SUCCESSES OF THE WORKSHOP
Timeliness- workshop started a bit late, and some participants had to leave early.
The attorney we brought in was very experienced, knowledgeable, and helpful. He helped communicate the specific legal issues that many immigrants to South Africa face. And the church leaders were able to grasp and learn the Immigrant Rights.
Invite immigrants from different backgrounds to the next workshop. This would expand AU’s influence and improve our relationship with the local community. And have more time for question and answer session.